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Article

The Acquisition of Preposition + Article Contractions in L3 Portuguese among Different L1-Speaking Learners: A Variationist Approach

1
School of Information, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2
Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Languages 2020, 5(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040045
Received: 1 September 2020 / Revised: 19 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 27 October 2020
This paper sheds light on the paths of third language (L3) acquisition of Portuguese by Spanish–English speakers whose first language is Spanish (L1 Spanish), English (L1 English), or both in the case of heritage speakers of Spanish (HL). Specifically, it looks at the gradual acquisition of a categorical rule in Portuguese, where some prepositions are invariably contracted with the determiner that follows them. Based on a corpus of 1910 written assignments by Portuguese L3 learners, we extracted 21,879 tokens in obligatory contraction contexts and submitted them to a multivariate analysis. This analysis allowed for the investigation of the impact of linguistic (type of preposition and definite article number and gender) and extra-linguistic factors (course level and learner’s language background), with logistic regression modeling with sum contrasts and individual as a random effect. While results point to some clear similarities across the three language groups—all learners acquired the contractions in a u-shaped progression and used more contractions with the a preposition and fewer with the por preposition—participants acquire contractions at a higher rate when the article is singular than when it is plural, and in the case of HL speakers, more so when the article is masculine than when it is feminine. These results confirm the facilitatory role of a previously acquired language (i.e., Spanish) that is typologically similar to the target language (i.e., Portuguese) in transfer patterns during L3 acquisition. View Full-Text
Keywords: usage-based approach; third language acquisition; morphology usage-based approach; third language acquisition; morphology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Picoral, A.; Carvalho, A.M. The Acquisition of Preposition + Article Contractions in L3 Portuguese among Different L1-Speaking Learners: A Variationist Approach. Languages 2020, 5, 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040045

AMA Style

Picoral A, Carvalho AM. The Acquisition of Preposition + Article Contractions in L3 Portuguese among Different L1-Speaking Learners: A Variationist Approach. Languages. 2020; 5(4):45. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040045

Chicago/Turabian Style

Picoral, Adriana, and Ana M. Carvalho. 2020. "The Acquisition of Preposition + Article Contractions in L3 Portuguese among Different L1-Speaking Learners: A Variationist Approach" Languages 5, no. 4: 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040045

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